I first met my friend Nathan Ford last year in the painting tent.
I stood back in awe of his collaborative canvas, a brilliant idea, (one I’ve gently borrowed more than once; for which I hope he’ll forgive me), and drew the tiniest ladybug on the edge of someone’s heart.
This year though, I stepped up to his canvas with a little more bravery and painted a large flower.
And stood back.
Being one of the first people on the grounds that morning, I could see the wonderful background on which I was drawing. Nathan has a brilliant way with shadow and light and imagery don’t you think?
By the middle of the day, when I checked back, that canvas was beginning to take on the Nathan Ford magic.
Speaking of magic, here is Nathan’s painting, “Road to the Arena”, oil on linen, in the Best of the Best tent. Isn’t it wonderful?
Also in the Painting tent is David Curtis and his sun-filled works of art.
And here is David’s “Menorcan Evening” from the Best of the Best tent. He painted this in his studio from watercolour studies done en plein air in Menorca.
Stepping out of the painting tent and into the illustrations and calligraphy tent, we find Mark L’Argent and his very steady hand. He illustrates the most beautiful traditional and original script.
Here is a wonderful example of his scripted piece on old ephemera.
Next we’ll have a stroll thru the printmakers tent and find the lovely Helen Murgatroyd.
Look here! Helen let me photograph some of her process from sketchbook idea to finished print.
Tell you what. Pop over to her site and have a look at the little video she has posted about the making of her print. Go ahead, I’ll wait. It’ll make you smile.
And here, from the Best of the Best clockwise from left: “Rain”, original archival print made in pencil, iPad and Photoshop, by Jan Bowman, “Dancing Damsels and Brooding Bitterns” Mixed media illustration, by Shelly Perkins, and “Druidstone Haven” linocut by Susan Wheeler.
One thing I’d really love to try to have a go with is mouth-blown glass. I loved this glass by Eliot Walker. The texture reminds me of an ancient Pompeii vase I have, a present from my mom. Some parts of that old glass vase are charred like this.
The whole piece, including this beautiful glass camera, is called “I know how it all ends”, and is described as “hot worked, sculpted and blown glass, cut and polished.”
There were so many beautiful glass pieces in the Best of the Best tent.
And beautiful wooden pieces, like this exquisite folding box. I’m so sorry, I neglected to take note of the artist for this piece.
And this lyre by Tobias Kaye. It is “Sounding Board in Sycamore (number 472, lyre style).” The artists describes his piece: “Tuned, so that a sweep of the (dry) hand releases a rich harmony. Every day, every night, music sets the heart alight. Turned from a single piece of Sycamore. Pegs are Laburnum and Boxwood. Strings are Phosphor bronze running through copper tubes in the bowl wall. If your hands are dry please feel free to swirl across the strings.”
On to ceramics.
I loved this piece of two little wrens. It looked like taxidermy to me.
Here is “In the Garden” by Anja Penger-Onyett
And loved this beautiful piece, “Giselle”, by Cliff Wright. Couldn’t stop walking around it.
It is a maquette in wax for a bronze sculpture for a commissioned piece. Wow!
And this! This is felted! A needle felted study of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, by Eve Kelly.
Here is a close-up of Spring. Isn’t the attention to detail amazing? Look at her beautiful face, and the description of the flowers and whispy fabric in her dress.
More fabric art. This is a woven ribbon. For some reason, the artist wasn’t listed but the information on the card says, “‘A book for a library of books’ This weave takes the form of 7 ‘A4 pages’, with red font and end boards.” The pages of the book reference music, visual art, poetry and prose.
This amazing piece is called “London on the Map” by Wendy Dolan. It’s a freehand machine stitched piece combining transfer printing and textures.
And I really loved this quilt. It’s called “I am Home” by Ekta Kaul. It’s embroidered silk, and the remarkable thing about this is that the back mirrors the front except black with white stitching.
The last piece I’d like to show you is this fanciful beaded mask by Claire Crouchley. It has a fantastic name: “Snegurochka” which is Russian for Snow Maiden and a story I remember from my childhood, so relate. I keep thinking how wonderful it would look next to my leather batgirl mask…lol.
That’s my round up of the most fabulous from Art in Action 2015.
I hope you liked my small, exquisite collection. There’s so much more I wish I had time to photograph and talk about! With some 400 artists, craftsmen and performers, it’s impossible to show you everything, but I hope you have a good idea and a few lovely links to wonderful new artists whose work you can explore.
Stay tuned for some practical classes that anybody can try. 😀